Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 2 after surgery

Aidan returned home yesterday around noon. The night after his surgery was fairly easy compared to his first surgery. Aidan slept well. I think part of his ease was that he didn't have to wear arm restraints this time. I, on the other hand, only got about 3 hours of sleep. Besides being concerned about my son and being woken up by the nurses coming in to check his vitals, the poor little guy we shared a room with suffered loudly from time to time. Not sure what his condition was.

Julie stayed home from church with the kids today. Aidan's pain is controlled with meds. However, it seems like he's still pretty uncomfortable. He's on a combination of Tylenol and oxycodone, for the time being. We're going to ween him off the latter ASAP, since we're pretty sure it's causing him to act a bit stoned.

It's next to impossible to keep a three year-old corraled. Nevertheless, that's what we've been trying to do. Considering that prior to the surgery, Aidan often would pick at his lip, he isn't doing it now. But it's all we can do to keep him from running around and falling or bumping his lip with a toy ... or a wall. It's also a challenge keeping his sister at bay and playing gently around him.

The swelling on his lip has gone down a little bit. It also has a nice bluish bruise-like tint. Obviously, he hasn't been able to smile, so we're not sure if his adorable dimples will return, or if they were wiped out as a result of the surgery. And Julie and I both have said that there's a part of us that will miss his cute little crooked lip. That was the Aidan we first met and fell in love with. Still, the fact remains that part of the reconstruction was reattaching the upper lip muscles, and this will be beneficial to him in the long run.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Evening After

Aidan had been awake for a while this afternoon. Had some applejuice and applesauce. Didn't stay down long. First time he ever vomited, so I think the whole thing freaked him out a bit. He had been pretty calm until that moment.

Julie headed home around 7. At that point, Aidan and I watched some TV and videos on my laptop. The TV here doesn't have Sprout, so Aidan can't watch his favorite shows, especially Caillou. What was funny was that once he got his hands on the remote, he turned to ESPN and started watching a basketball game. He actually seemed to enjoy it. Either that or he just wasn't in the mood to care. Probably the latter. We hardly ever watch basketball at home.

So I finally went to the Sprout website and we watched some video clips there. Tried YouTube and found a whole bunch of Caillou episodes there. Aidan managed to watch them until about 9:30. I finally told him that it was time to try going to sleep. As soon as I took the computer away and adjusted his bed, it didn't take long before he started to fade. He's sleeping soundly now. Let's just hope it lasts until his next vitals check. Or his tiny roommate's next session of loud fussing and crying.

Aidan's Second Surgery

Aidan's sleeping soundly right now following his second surgery. This one was to repair his lip following his palate repair back in October. He's all stitched up and pretty puffy, but he's certainly taking it all like a trooper.

We arrived at the hospital this morning around 10:30 for a 12 noon surgery. Everything started right on time. After meeting some of the medical team who would be caring for him, I was invited to come back to the operating room to be with Aidan while he was given the anesthesia. I had to suit up in some protective gear (pictures to follow). We laid him down on the table, and I watched as the anesthesiologist offered him "bubble-gum flavored air." It wasn't long before Aidan's little eyes rolled back and he was fast asleep.

The surgery itself was about a 2 and a half hour procedure. Aidan arrived in his room around 3:30. If all goes well, we'll be out of here by noon tomorrow. That's the plan, anyway. Julie will be heading home soon to relieve her mom who has been on "Lily duty" today.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It's the Year of the Tiger

Break out the red envelopes, oranges, red banners, new clothes, dragons, lions ... and don't forget your Tigger doll, since it's the Year of the Tigger ... um, I mean, Tiger.

We were invited to a Chinese New Year celebration in Everett tonight. Most of the families who attended were also adoptive parents (some were neighbors and friends). The potluck meal consisted of some delicious Chinese cuisine and one Alfy's pizza. The hosts also provided some entertainment for the kids ... decorating a dragon, story time (led by a neighboring mom from up the road in Granite Falls), firecrackers (actually, it was bubble wrap which the kids stomped on), and a dragon piñata. Our kids were tentative about getting involved in the activities, which was fine with me. The crowd got pretty riled up around the piñata. Every time even the smallest bit of candy dropped to the floor, there was an immediate swarm of rugrats diving forward, elbowing and shoving one another to get their mitts on the sugary morsel.

We have a new year celebration of sorts three times annually in the Onken household. The first is when the liturgical year begins the First Sunday of Advent, usually at the end of November of beginning of December. Then comes the civil New Year on January 1. And when the second new moon after the winter solstice arrives (usually in early to mid-February), we get to celebrate Chinese New Year.

So, "Happy New Year!"

"Congratulations and be prosperous!"

Or, as they variously say it in China:

Xīn nián kuài lè!

Guò nián hǎo!

Gōng xǐ fā cái!

Gong hay fat choy!

Suì suì píng ān!

Nián nián yǒu yú!